I’m feeling pretty smug these days that I get to live in the South of France. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world to be here.
Lately I’ve had more good luck to be included in the travel plans of my “blog world” friends. Some of them you know since I talk about them a lot — Nancy McGee from Absolutely Southern France and Yetunde from Cook’n With Class Uzes (and Paris) and Carolyne with Perfectly Provence and Edible Heritage are now part of my “gang,” too. While I was still in the States, Nancy put together a whirlwind tour for the four of us, upon my return, to visit in Uzes and Sete. She arranged the trip with the tourist agencies from both cities so that we could learn more about the towns and help promote tourism — as if I didn’t already promote them. Sete and Uzes are two of my favourite places in the world.
Nevertheless — I was more than happy to go along. Albeit I was jet-lagged from the US trip and Scotland. (Oh… I do hate to complain!)
In three days we stuffed in so many activities and sights that it’s hard to tell you about it all. Perhaps a synopsis will do for now and I’ll write more about each place in later posts. So here goes…
Uzes Historic Tour
Nancy and Carolyne arrived at my apartment in Uzes around 5pm — just in time to meet Yetunde for our historic tour of Uzes. We were hosted by Fadila, our host in Uzes, and our guide from the tourist agency.
Starting with the Mairie (town hall) we visited the inter-court of the Duche and heard the history of the “castle” and the three main towers in Uzes.
A visit to the Saint Théodorit Cathedral with its Fenestrelle Tower helped explain some of the religious background of the town — which is both fascinating and complicated as this place was once a very important bishopric. If I thought I knew a lot about Uzes I was fooling myself. The history of the town is like peeling an onion. The more you learn, the more there is to know.
A bit of rain stalled our tour of the city, but we continued our history lesson inside the Hotel d’Entraigues where we were treated to wine, aperitifs and an amazing dinner.
Fortunately the raindrops stopped falling in time to view the hotel’s amazing views of the town from its rooftop… and the pool.
Cook’n With Class Day
Early morning the next day we grabbed a croissant and coffee and hurried off to meet the chef and students of Cook’n With Class. It was market day in San Quentin la Poterie and we were to choose and prepare a menu in the Cook’n With Class kitchen from the day’s best finds.
Look what we created!
Tour of Uzes Countryside
Just when we all could have taken a nap from all the food shopping, preparing and eating, we were off on a limousine tour of the countryside near Uzes — the shops at San Quentin la Poterie —
… and the luxury hotel in Castillon du Gard – Hotel Le Vieux Castillon . What a view!!
On to Sete!
If you think our day was finished, you’d be so wrong. On to drive to Sete!
Stopping off just long enough to drop our luggage at Nancy’s AIRBNB after reaching Sete, we were whisked away to the beach.
There we were met by our friend Marie-France from the Sete tourist office and treated to an amazing dinner at Le Cabanon de la Plage.
Gourmet Tour of Sete
Nancy’s Absolutely Southern France weekly gourmet tours are quite the “thing to do” in Sete these days. In fact, Nancy has recently been named “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the entire region of France. It’s no wonder. The Canadian-born expat who has lived in the south of France for thirty years is a fountain of knowledge. Her tour not only includes the city markets of Sete, she also tells of the history and architecture that makes the town so distinctive and compelling.
Here are just a few of our stops along the tour.
Al Fresco Dining at Oh Gobi
Finishing our gourmet tour of the city we were invited to a seafood FEAST at the waterside restaurant Oh Gobie.
There we joined the restaurant owner … and an uninvited guest.
Fish Auction House
Probably the most unexpected opportunity Nancy and Marie-France opened up to us as guests of the tourist office was to visit the fish auction house in Sete. First of its kind to be automated and computerised, the fish auction occurs each weekday in the late afternoon — just in time for the fishermen to deliver and sell their catch of the day.
Fancy a Tour?
The best thing about the whirlwind tour of Uzes and Sete is that it’s available to everyone. Most of the activities are free. You just have to show up in Uzes or Sete to enjoy the scenery, the history and the ambience. For Nancy’s Gourmet Tour, contact her at Absolutely Southern France, and for Cook’n With Class Uzes, learn more and contact Yetunde here. Links to the hotels and restaurants mentioned are “hot” in this post, so learn more as you please. For any additional information, feel free to send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be more posts to follow about this experience with more stories and photos. Hope you enjoy!
Stay tuned ….